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Civil War Soldiers - Holt
|Holt, Joseph, brigadier-general, U.S.
Army, was born in Breckenridge county, Ky., Jan. 6, 1807, was educated
at St. Joseph's college, Bardstown and at Centre college, Danville,
and in 1828 began to practice law in Elizabethtown, Ky. He was then
for many years an attorney of national reputation. He supported the
candidacy of Franklin Pierce for the presidency in 1852, that of James
Buchanan in 1856, and that of Stephen A. Douglas in 1860. He was
Commissioner of Patents in Washington, 1857-59, Postmaster-General
1859-60, and Secretary of War, 1860-61. He supported the
administration when Lincoln succeeded to the presidency, actively
co-operated with Gen. Scott in providing against hostile
demonstrations at the inauguration, and in a report which was
afterwards published described the plot which had been formed to seize
the capital. In the latter part of 1861 he was one of a commission
appointed to investigate the military claims against the Department of
the West, and on Sept. 3, 1862, he was appointed by President Lincoln
judge- advocate-general with the rank of colonel. On the establishment
of the bureau of military justice in 1864 he was put at its head with
the same title but with the rank of brigadier-general, and on March
13, 1865, he was brevetted major-general for "faithful, meritorious
and distinguished services in the bureau of military justice during
the war." He conducted the trial of Fitz-John Porter, who was charged
with disobedience of orders, and also of the trials of the accomplices
in the assassination of President Lincoln. He was retired at his own
request in 1875, being over sixty-two years old, and he died in
Washington, D. C., Aug. 1, 1894.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908